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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-02-03

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Finance Ministry presents stimulus package
  • [02] UN chief has full confidence in Downer
  • [03] UK committed to UN-led process on Cyprus
  • [04] Cornerstone for University of Cyprus library laid

  • [01] Finance Ministry presents stimulus package

    The Finance Ministry presented to the political parties the stimulus package aimed at boosting economic growth.

    The lengthy document obtained by CNA provides for a broad spectrum covering all sectors of the economy. The package will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.

    Concerning unemployment which reached 9.3% in 2011, the Finance Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and the Human Resources development authority will introduce a scheme giving special emphasis on the skills of the unemployed persons totaling 20 million euros, as well as the introduction of the extraordinary scheme for hiring long-term unemployed persons and young people with a budget of 8 million euros.

    Concerning development projects the Finance Ministry will prioritise the various projects according to their maturity, the contribution to employment, while it will prepare an action plan to be presented to prospective investors. The Finance Ministry will also set a department in the Planning Bureau to manage the projects to be implemented under the Public - Private Partnership venture.

    The Finance Ministry will set up a financing mechanism for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) which through the provisions of guarantees will enable small SMEs to obtain loans from commercial banks. The mechanism will secure its liquidity via a loan from the European Investment Bank.

    Concerning tourism, the Finance Ministry will take the necessary measures to increase the Cyprus Airways share capital, without excluding the selling of the CyAir`s majority stake to a strategic investor.

    With regard to boosting the business climate, the Finance Ministry plans to introduce an accelerated depreciation by 20% for purchases of machinery, 7% for investments in buildings for the next three years and recommends the abolition of the deemed distribution of profit in respect capital expenditure to fixed assets.

    The Ministry also recommends the consolidation of tax obligations in case a Cypriot company borrows in a bid to contribute to the capital of another Cypriot company to finance its trade activities.

    On green growth, the Ministry proposes the creation of a green fund using the carbon tax to be introduced in 2013, of which 50% of the revenues will be used to finance environmental projects.

    The Ministry also plans to introduce a vehicles withdrawal scheme totaling 3 million euros.

    [02] UN chief has full confidence in Downer

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has full confidence in his Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, according to the UN chief`s Spokesman Martin Nezirky.

    Commenting on press reports concerning the Cypriot House of Representatives` decision concerning Downer, Nezirky said ``of course we are aware of the stories.``

    ``The Secretary General has full confidence in his Special Adviser, Alexander Downer,`` Nezirky added.

    The House of Representatives decided to request of the UN chief to urgently restore the impartiality and credibility of his special adviser. In a press conference during the Greentree meeting of UNSG with President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader, Downer spoke of an EU presidency to be assumed ``by the Greek Cypriots,`` causing criticism by Greek Cypriot parties which questioned his impartiality. Cyprus will assume the six monthly rotating EU presidency in July this year.

    [03] UK committed to UN-led process on Cyprus

    Although only limited progress was achieved at the latest round of talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN Secretary General, the process has not ended, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Lord Howell has said.

    He added that the UN Secretary General has called for a decisive move to reach a final agreement and will provide a report to the Security Council at the end of February.

    Howell was answering a question by Lord Sharkey, who asked whether, in the light of the UN Secretary General`s comments on the lack of progress on the future of Cyprus, the British government will now consider recognising the pseudostate in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Answering another question by Lord Sharkey if the Minister agreed with former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that it is time for the UK government to consider formally the partition of Cyprus if the talks fail, as expressed in an article in the Times on 8 November 2010, Lord Howell said, ``No, I do not. Jack Straw is not a member of the current government and his comments were made in a private capacity as an MP.``

    [04] Cornerstone for University of Cyprus library laid

    The cornerstone of the ``Stelios Ioannou`` Information Centre and Library, of the University of Cyprus, which is expected to open in September 2014, was laid on Friday by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.

    The library`s area will exceed 15,000 square metres, and will be in the form of an artificial hill with a white dome, on five levels and three floors, providing library services, 900 study stations, as well as multimedia and group study areas.

    It will hold 620,000 tomes of books and 80,000 journals, millions of articles and over 400,000 books in electronic form, over 10,000 titles of audiovisual material, and will cover all scientific research, study and teaching subjects. Furthermore, it will host the library, the information system service, the teaching support technology centre and the language centre.

    Speaking at the ceremony, President Christofias said the project would be a ``bright gem`` and would constitute a milestone in the development of the University of Cyprus and a very important hub for the development of the society of knowledge, as well as an architectural landmark for the country. President Christofias also assured that the government will continue to support the public academic institutions.


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